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Cardiff Council proposing one bin bag collection every three weeks

BLACK bin bags could be collected once every three weeks in Cardiff this year as part of the city council’s plan to save tens of millions of pounds.

Cardiff Council announced that it is faced with the task of having to bridge a £30m budget gap after it receiving its provisional settlement from the Welsh Government in December.

Other proposals that the council will put to a public consultation on Monday January 8 include increasing car parking charges, charging for garden waste collections and increasing the cost of school meals.

The budget consultation document published yesterday, January 2 states that the council is proposing a council tax increase of 3% to help it face what the local authority’s cabinet member for finance, Cllr Chris Weaver, has called a “financial storm”.

Cllr Weaver said: “Most of the money the Council receives comes from grants from Welsh Government. Only about 26% comes from Council Tax.

“Over two thirds is spent on running schools and social services.

“Without council tax many of the other important services we deliver could be lost or face severe cuts.

“Any increase in Council Tax will go some way towards helping us maintain important services our citizens rely on as we plan our way through this crisis.”

Some of the main factors that have contributed to the £30m budget gap include high inflation, expected pay increases and an increase in demand on services.

Current demand on social care is the biggest driver of Cardiff Council’s budget gap.

The number of people accessing the council’s advice services has doubled since before the pandemic and the number of rough sleepers in the city has more than tripled since 2022/23.

Some of the other key budget proposals being made by the council include:

  • Restricting opening times for hubs and libraries and using more volunteers to help run the service
  • Increasing the cost of hiring sports pitches
  • Increasing the price of the burials and cremation service
  • Changing the ways parks are managed, including reducing the maintenance on sections of parks and green spaces, reducing the number of floral displays and re-wilding some planting areas
  • Reducing the frequency of street cleansing

If a charge for garden waste collection was brought in, the council is proposing a charge similar to what other local authorities have introduced, which is in the region of £35 to £45 a year.

In terms of parking charges, the council is proposing higher pay and display tariffs for car parks closer to the city centre.

As part of the council’s proposals going out to consultation, the local authority is proposing an average increase of £1 per hour in the city centre and 50p in districts outside the city centre.

The cost of a first car parking permit could increase from £24 to £30 and a second permit could increase from £54 to £80.

Cllr Weaver added: “We need to understand the services people want to see delivered in future and what they are willing to pay more for, which is why this consultation is so important.

“Each percentage rise in Council Tax only brings in £1.7 million, so to set a balanced budget we will need to make considerable savings from services and income charges.

“The 4.1% budget increase received from Welsh Government will be used to try to protect important services like social care and school budgets.

“We are looking at increasing school budgets by 4.1% matching the monies received from Welsh Government, and we will do everything we can to protect social services and the most vulnerable in our communities.

“But there’s little doubt that we now need to look at some harder-to-face options to bridge the gap.

“There are some extremely tough choices which will need to be made, which is why it’s so important residents take part in the budget consultation and tell us what really matters to them.”

The 4.1% uplift from the Welsh Government is less than half of what the council received for its 2023/24 budget.

Cardiff Council’s budget proposals will be looked at in closer detail by a number of the local authority’s scrutiny committees next week.

The public consultation on the council’s budget proposals for 2024/24 will close on Sunday February 4.

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